Monday, October 02, 2006
Parween Sultana - Goddess in Disguise !
When I read on friday in Deccan Herald that there would be Begum Parveen Sultana's concert on 2nd oct , I decided that I would surely try to make it .The difficult part this time was in locating the place where the concert was being held - "Mangala Mantapa" ! Finally googled for it online and then found that it is an auditorium in the NMKRV college premises .
So this evening I had been to this truly wonderful,once in a lifetime concert of the great Begum Parveen Sultana.By far, the best classical concert that I have attended ! As I write I am sure I will run out of superlatives to describe the wonderful singing and experience.
For those who did not know,her voice spans 3 octaves easily and covers a bit of 4th octave!!Its divine listening to her.coz' she is so flawless.She mixes the complicated "tans" with such mellifluous notes that it is absolutely divine !
Her stage manners are impeccable and the way she treats her accompanying artists and the audience is worth appreciating.Extremely courteous is she !
Dressed in a rich "jartaari" saree and bespectacled ,she started off the evening with a rendition of 2 bandishes(compositions) in Rag Yaman ( known in Carnatic music as Rag Kalyani). The Vilambit composition(this is slow and steady!) was so peaceful where she explored the nuances of the rag and also she herself played one of the 3 tanpuras on display. As the pace picked up and the Drut(the faster piece) started, it was evident that there would be some fireworks as she handed the tanpura to one of the other janta on stage and man ,there were fireworks !! The tans and the chougun laya(4 times the normal pace) was simply astounding and mind boggling ! Brilliant stuff ! Even the heavens seemed to agree,with the rains coming down pretty heavily !
Followed by this wonderful rendition was a splendid tarana (equivalent to tillana ) in Rag Hamsadhvani. It was stupendous! Never have the "dherena","dheem ta nana"s sounded better.The rag itself is so melodious and her additions to it made it as I would want to call it, "Kick ass" !! Traditionally , the taranas are sung at the end of the concert to mark the end of the concert,but this was surprising and yet, you could sense that something more special was to follow !
And follow it did ! 3 beautiful bhajans - a Meera bhajan which brought tears to my eyes ,a Surdas bhajan in Rag Mishra Kedar and a Sai bhajan in Rag Mishra Bhairavi were out of the world ! ( to me : improve on your adjectives!)
I had gone to the concert hoping that she would sing the all popular "Bhavani Dayani" and I almost thought of writing the name of the song in a chit and placing it near her during the concert. Before I could do this , someone actually went straight upto her and requested her to sing a particular song.She said that she would sing it at the end . I was almost sure that this person also had requested the same song !!
After the bhajans, she announced that she would sing the song that "people had been asking for" in rag Mishra Bhairavi and there were no doubts left in anyone's mind that this had to be the song dedicated to Goddess Durga !
As she sang this song, she fluently sang across 3 octaves and it pretty much filled me up with goosebumps ! SIMPLY BRILLIANT ! It was as if Goddess Durga was herself singing it ! She herself had tears in her eyes while she was singing . Such was the passion and involvement that the 300 odd crowd were left absolutely intoxicated with her superb rendition of "Bhavani Dayani" ! And as she held out her hands at the end of song, janta in the auditorium gave her a completely deserving standing ovation !
Was really sad the concert had to get over. She paid rich tributes to the city that she loves coming to and the audience which was really supportive ! Am sure I will buy a few more cassettes/cds of her's in the near future but even if I listen to her singing , I think the electric atmosphere that she creates while she performs live will be missing , but atleast will listen to the goddess herself sing ! This concert will linger on in my memory for a very long time and I am sure the massive respect that I have had for her all these years will increase some X fold where X is a pretty big no !
All in all , a superb evening ! And now,I am feeling enlightened !